August Landrebe competes in the 50m freestyle. Photo by
Lawrence athlete Liam Smith was the star of the Special
Olympics regional summer games in Dunedin at the weekend.
Smith was competing at the top end of the athletics
competition and won two gold medals.
He relished the perfect conditions at the Caledonian Ground
yesterday to win the 200m in 27.40sec and the long jump with
a leap of 5.36m.
The other noted performance in the top echelon of the
competition was the win by Dunedin's David White in the 100m
The best performance in the middle grade came from James
Gaylard (Dunedin), who won three gold medals: 100m
(18.31sec), 200m (36.88sec) and shot put (6.35m).
The best performance in the developing section came from
Philip Thomson (Dunedin), who won gold medals in the 50m walk
(16.30sec) and 100m walk (36.40sec).
Otago Yellow beat Otago Blue 4-2 in a penalty shootout in the
final of the football competition.
The Yellow side also won the award for the team with the most
The MVP awards for the competing teams were: Otago Blue
(Thomas Cowie), Otago Yellow (Matt Just), Canterbury (Brent
Campbell) and South Otago (Christie Jenkins).
The star of the equestrian events was Simon Scaife (Wanaka),
who only started riding horses 18 months ago.
He has a relaxed approach and has a special rapport with the
horses. This worked to his advantage when he won three gold
medals, with his most impressive wins coming in the dressage
and trail ride.
In the women's events, three Taieri riders scooped the
Teana Warden won the gold medal in the dressage, Alysha
Canning a silver in the trail and a bronze in the dressage,
and Aliesha Bryant a bronze medal in the English equitation.
The regional games were used by officials as a practice run
for the New Zealand Summer Games to be held in Dunedin next
Officials were tested by the conditions on Saturday when rain
fell made conditions tricky for competitors in the outdoor
"The whole event went smoothly and without any hitches,"
Special Olympics Otago spokeswoman Jan Aitken said.
"We were pleased with the number of volunteers and coaches
who helped out. They are all keen to be involved in the
national games next year."